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we are going to talk about state dinner and use that as an introduction for all of us and how they are put on, where the first lady comes into it, all of the various parts of the white house that get involved. it certainly is a big event and one that involves everybody. gary, can you start as off? it certainly is a big event and one that involves everybody. gary, can you start as off? as chief usher you handled the residence staff. >> i would be glad to. the first notice of a state dinner or state visit comes from the state department. it usually goes through the
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social secretary of the white house. soon after the socialists a cap -- after the social security -- social secretary had a conversation with the first lady, he would lay out who, when, where, and how it was going to be about. there was a lot of planning. usually these events are planned three, four, sometimes as much as a year into the future. sometimes a lot less time. the planning is intensive. i think one of the things people forget about state dinners is that they set a style for the white house from a social aspect and they also set a first lady's style. we deal with things like the flowers, the table settings, what color dress is the first
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lady going to wear at a state dinner? i can remember the chief florist at the white house getting together with the first ladies and actually having a sample of the fabric, the color and texture, and planning flowers and the color of the tablecloths and how the tape was going to be set with what kind of decorations. but basically, the first lady has a tremendous responsibility to set the tone for a state visit. i wrote down a number of
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different things that the first lady gets involved in, first through the social secretary, and then things that should deal directly with. they include about eight different things, the flowers, the shoes, the decorations, not only the decorations at the table but what flowers are trees are plans will be put around the state floor for the official visit, what the decor room is going to be for the dinner, the kind of dress that is going to go forward. is it black tie, is a white tie, is a business? the color choices, i already went over that, with the dresses and colors of fabrics and tablecloths. but there are a couple of other things that usually fall under the first lady's aspect of what she is dealing with, and that deals with a great deal of how the service personnel are going to present themselves. quite frequently at these dinners we have in the visual aspects of a foreign country, the kind of foods they like, whether or not there are allergies to certain food groups, and there are a myriad of details that the first ladies have to go through, both personally and with the chefs. the cheap floral designer has to be involved with choosing the entertainment with the
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social secretary. what music is going to be played at the state dinner, what music will be played for the dancing afterwards. there is a myriad amount of questions that have to be asked of higher and that she will have to make decisions upon to allow these dinners to proceed in a good manner. >> can you tell us about the menu? and make sure and talk about your dessert. [laughter] >> to be able to perform at the white house, to be involved with steak dinner or in the level better, it is really an honor, let me tell you.
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there is no better place to cook or bake in the world. you are having fun doing it, let me tell you. the involvement with the menu, it was quite an ordeal to come to a final menu, because we had many people who had their hand in the stew, as they say. you would start with a basic menu, and then you would come back, people with allergies, and not only allergies, but people from different denominations, like if you have kosher people at the dinner. there are so many things you have to watch out for. some do not have shellfish and this kind of thing. it is amazing what you have to go through before the file menu.
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usually what i did, i waited until the chef is in the kitchen and then i put the dessert out. then it was a sure bet for me that all the kinks had been worked out, so it was an easier way. when you come to the white house, at first you don't know which way to go. when people come from hotels or places outside, and you want to continue what you have learned outside in the hotel business. in the white house, and to mrs. reagan's time, they pretty much had their menu and desert like you would have at a hotel. you can go back and look. you'd find pie, chocolate cake, good stuff there. i don't think mrs reagan cared for pipe or chocolate cake. she said to me once, we in california don't eat cheese cake.
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actually she did, but that is another story. [laughter] so i knew right away that she was looking for something else. can i deliver? i don't know, but i am surely going to try like hell. there was a head decorator at the white house and he was very close to the family. he had a good eye for food and everything, and colors. he did help me a lot, i must say. so you get your sources from wherever you can. i think this is windy deserts came, under mrs. reagan in the white house in those years. she definitely want to take a different approach. i am sorry to say after i left, it stopped. [laughter] if you want the truth, i am giving you the truth.
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but it was such a pleasure. mrs. reagan rarely told me a lot. she is a mentor for me. she told me that in the days of work, you don't have eight hours, you have 24. she did teach me that. on several occasions when she requested a special dessert, it was so tedious. in those years i was the only pasty person in the white house. she requested a special desert,
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and we had two days before the state dinner. i said mrs. reagan, the desert is wonderful, but i have only two days left. that is when she said, you have two days and two nights. [laughter] it sounds really harsh at first, but it is the best lesson i have been taught, because the sky is the limit if you push yourself, and you can make it happen. and if you do make it happen, you feel like the king of the hill. and she is the one who made that offer to me. >> can you tell us about a particular state dinner, or how the process work? >> sure. as gary was talking, i was thinking about what he said
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about the colors and matching the colors with the fabric and the flowers on the table. the first white tie state dinner that the bush and administration did, working closely with the team and the social secretary. one of the most fun calls i got to make was to the queen's dresser. i said what color is the queen wearing, because we certainly did not want the first lady of the house and queen elizabeth to be in the same color. so that was one of the little items. there are so many people in so many things that go into making this a beautiful event that is respectful of your guests and also reflective of the president and first lady, and we all want to put our best foot forward when we are working in the white house. this is the time to showcase everything that is perfect. >> did the first ladies talk about a state dinner as being an event that was showcasing
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america, what their goals were? can you tell us about that? >> certainly. the state dinners are really about diplomacy, and the role of the first lady and her office, with great help from the state department, there is a huge amount of protocol involved. there is no detail that is too small. whatever one does, one does not want to make a mistake that would be insulting in any way, so there are great number of details, but it is important to remember that it really is about diplomacy and enhancing the diplomacy between two countries. our second state dinner was with mexico. because of some of the personal touches, part of it was
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tablecloths that were mayan blue, and there were roses and prickly pears that were just stunningly beautiful. but my favorite little piece of it was that we had -- in the east room was the dinner, and then a tent for a wonderful, lovely entertainment which was by beyonce. there were monarch butterflies looking like they were floating down. the significance is that monarch butterflies fly down from canada and they land in the birthplace of president calderon. so that is meaningful, and these touches make a difference. one other thing i would add is
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that we had an outside chef, rick bayless, who is a very well known -- he is american but his food is mexican, and people at the time questioned why we would do such a thing, since obviously the best mexican food is in mexico. it is because we have had conversations -- the first lady had visited mexico and was with the president and his wife and they had heard about rick bayless and expressed an interest. >> betty, can you tell us about some of the research that goes into first setting up state dinners, and that first ladies might do? >> we do keep records and the curator's office, clipping files and information, historical information on entertainment over the years and the particular state dinners. we were were a resource for many ideas fort deserts for the particular countries that were being entertained at a state
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dinner. we worked with the first lady's office in terms of needing to order additional pieces of presidential china that would be used for state dinners as well. we had supplements made of the fdr service and the wilson service to fill out those services, because they had been depleted by breakage and so forth over the years. in the year 2000 when the white house historical association offered to fund a new state service, we work closely with mrs. clinton in deciding about
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the colors, the designs that would go on the service, how those particular colors would looked in the various settings in the state dining room are the east room. i do remember mrs. clinton's mother was living in the house at the time. she would come to some of these little meetings about showing samples from the porcelain factory. none of them seem to be satisfactory. she said of in the bathroom of my suite is a beautiful yellow color. she said i think we should try that yellow color. so we got a sample of the wallpaper and sent it off to lennox, and they did some samples, and it worked out beautifully. i think that was mrs. rodham's
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legacy in terms of state dinners. [laughter] >> let's go to looking at the transitions into the white house that a family makes and the transitions out as well. often, for a president, he has been running for office for a couple of years and he is a political person who has most likely been at the white house numerous times, but in coming into the white house, the first ladies really have not spent much time. we have an example with michelle obama, she was not familiar with the white house, where as laura bush was familiar coming in during the george h.w. bush presidency. tell us a little bit about michelle obama's transition in and how she prepared for it. >> michelle obama is a serious student, but i don't think there is any way one can be prepared in a sense to really know what is going to be like. her husband had been a u.s. senator for a few years, but she and the girls had stayed in chicago where her whole family and support work.
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the bush people were incredibly helpful and generous about what the office was like and the structure and all that. the bushes were as well, personally, when the obama is visited. but i have to say there's just no substitute for being there. mrs. obama and the family were first at the adams hotel and then the blair house and into the white house for coffee, as is the tradition on inauguration morning. and everyone went off to the inauguration, and then what the white house residence staff does is just unbelievable, where in that time when the inauguration is going on, in
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this case they move the bushes out and the obamas in. they walk in, and now they live in this new home. it is really quite startling, and i don't think there's any amount of preparation that can help one understand what this all means. >> can you tell us about the bush is coming in, and then gary can tell us from the viewpoint of running the whole operation how that transition works. >> i was not here working with her directly at that time, in 2001, but i had been part of the transition team, the one that was set up in virginia before the election was finally decided. once we were in the government's space, we were planning from the personnel side of it. one of the first visits that a president and incoming first lady get this from the chief usher with a list of things that they need to think about
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and be knowledgeable about when they come into the white house. i will let gary talk a little bit about that. but 2001 was a very different experience than some past transitions. we did not know for six weeks who the president was going to be, so no real official conversation could be taking place to prepare for a transition. certainly very different than 2008-2009, when, in fact, mrs. bush had everything packed up and almost out of the white house well before january 2009. there were just a few little boxes in the china room that needed to be moved out. she was very prepared. but it is incredibly seamless.
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the new first family is really not aware of it, and it is just so extraordinary. gary can talk a lot more about how the staff handles it. >> transitions are unique. there is a four-year transition, when a president is running for reelection, just as obama just did, and the staff has to start gathering information on those people who are in the opposition party, who are also expecting to be inaugurated on january 20. when i was there, i started six-eight months earlier, gathering information on the candidates who were running, and then once the political parties had their conventions and the selections were made, i became more intent on gathering information on the nominee. sometimes that is difficult. after four years, you have to be loyal to the family that is there. it is their home that we are talking about. luckily, i was involved in the home, not the political aspects
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of the white house. some people forget that at times. this is a family that is moving in and out of the white house, and replacing their home, or establishing a new home. but when you have a transition after four years, you are wearing two hats. you are loyal to look family that is there, and you want the staff who spend 100% of their time doing what has to be done for the family that lives there and the sitting president and first lady. but you also have to be preparing for what may happen in the future. on inaugural day, and luckily when you have a second term, there is not much going on on inaugural day. everybody kind of takes a deep breath and lets things proceed. but when you are doing a transition from one family to another, after eight years, the family that is there knows they are leaving on january 20 four
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years in advance. that is plenty of time to prepare themselves both mentally, and to start moving their furnishings out. when you have a four-year term, it is an entirely different ball game. the family that is coming in, once you have the election, if the family that is moving out is not going to be there any longer, the incoming president -- there is a long conversation that goes on with both the first lady, first and foremost, but with the president also. not only there is a home transition on inaugural day, the west wing, which is very symbolic of the presidency, and one of the first things the press want to see on the inaugural day is the oval office. what desk did the president used, what paintings did he choose for the walls, but
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statues are in there? what went out from the previous administration? there is a tremendous amount that goes on on inaugural day. we have about five hours from the time the president-elect leaves the white house, goes down to the capital for the inaugural festivities, and comes back from the inaugural parade in front of the white house. one family has moved completely out and another family it is moved completely in. to the point of all their clothes are hung up, all their favorite foods are in the pantry, all their toiletries are in the bathrooms that they selected, all the rooms have been changed to their desire. it is done in five hours. i referred to it as organized chaos. we divide the staff up into different groups. a group that was responsible for moving things out, and the group that was responsible for moving things in.
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the president's elevator is the larger of the two. there is a lot of going up and down steps. there is a lot of the elevator traffic. luckily, i just got to be the maestro that gave directions, and the wonderful staff, including roland and the kitchen staff, were preparing for the events that are going to take place not only that evening but in the coming days, as the new president welcomes in and
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thanks those people who helped him get elected. >> rowland, i wonder if you can tell us about another aspect of it, and that is about the human relationships that form, that are close, when a president and his family leave, the impact that it have on the staff. >> yes, it is a very strong bond between the family and the staff, because we really get to know everybody, from the president and first lady on down, family, pets. the white house is a big family. that is what it is. everybody is there for one thing only, to please the family. whatever they want, whatever they like, anybody in the family. you don't really think about them leaving, even the day before or two days before, even though you know they are leaving. but then when it fits you, you feel bad, really odd, right
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here. for me, i always say it is like a funeral day. that is the closest thing i can describe it. i don't know about other staff and the white house, but for me, i have never been a party guy. i don't care what party you belong to. the president and first lady of the united states. that is what counts. that is who i serve. so you really love those people. you would do anything for them. if you don't feel that way, i don't think you should be there. paying respect to the house is the same thing. everything goes hand in hand. so the morning of the departure of the family, we usually gather together in the state dining room. all the staff will be around the room, waiting for them to come in. the president, first lady, like chelsea, when they were in the
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white house she was part of it. and pets, too. when mrs. barbara bush, she did not go anywhere without millie. i called her the presidential dog. she knew how to act, very presidential at all times. she was an amazing dog. she knew where she was at all times -- more than i did. let me tell you, it is those days, i cherish those days. even today, it brings emotion to me. there was a great finish. for the staff, it was very hard to see them go. when president bush sr. left, he had lost an election. that was super sad because of that. i never even thought that a president would cry. they are too big, they are too strong, but i have seen them cry, and really cry, and then it makes it doubly hard again. when i see president and mrs. bush coming into the room to say goodbye, and president bush
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could not speak. he just cried. >> as close as people who work in the residents are to the family, we also work very closely with their staff, particularly the first lady's staff. and all of a sudden, they are gone by noon on inauguration day. you have worked with these people for four or eight years, and many of them become your friends. some in the west wing as well, those that work more closely
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with. then all of a sudden, they are gone, and the next day, there is a whole group of strangers coming in. they don't know you, and you don't know them. it is a very difficult time, i think, saying goodbye to these families. it is like a whole new job sometimes when a new family comes in.
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>> the new people coming in sometimes scare the hell out of you, too. when the right ravens came in, i was making raspberry sauce in the blender, and the top came off and it was all over my clothes. i was going to my room to change and everything. the decorator i was working with happened to be here. he came and looked me up and down and said, things are surely going to change around here. [laughter] i got scared. i said that is it, i am cooked. >> i have been listening to betty and roland, it is so
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entertaining. it speaks to the resiliency of the white house. we have political staff that comes and goes, but they continue to support every president that comes in, and the staff around them. and they go through these adjustments as well. we don't often think about that, and when rowland was talking about how difficult this is on that morning when all the staff is gathered to say goodbye to the outgoing president, the
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first family, and there was a much happier time, years later, when president george h.w. bush and barbara bush were there with their son and daughter-in- law to say goodbye once again, under very different and happier circumstances after a successful eight years. that was a historic moment, and something i will never forget. i had to leave that room for a few minutes to compose myself as well. i salt and a longtime residents staff member taking care of presidential pets and he was a gardener. i said you were not upstairs, and he said i cannot do it. it was too emotional for him. he said not one time was there a departure of a presidential family that he would go up to that historic meeting to say goodbye, because it is so difficult. that really struck me, and i
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have never forgotten it. >> one thing we don't want to forget in this whole mix is the fact that the staff has done this time and again, for the most part. the majority of the resident staff that come, stay their entire career at the white house. it does not soften the blow, as you can tell from roland's reaction. we have about five minutes to accept it and move on. there is another president and family moving in, and we will meet them and be their staff in five minutes. so we have to turn that emotion around immediately, from this very sad departure -- and it is.
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on inaugural day when the clintons were leaving the white house, i was standing at the north portico as the last person to leave the white house was amy carter. everybody else had gotten in the cars and were waiting for the cars to be loaded to move out, and she came up to me and gave me a hug. it is a day i'll never forget. we have to turn that rider around immediately and get the new family moved in. and the family thinks they have to come in and adjust to the executive residence staff, and that is probably the greatest mantra that the resident staff has to live by. no, it is not the white house way, it is the family's way within the white house. and you need to adapt to the new family.
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that takes a while. i think the resident staff does it better, because they have been through it before, than the families do. these are people who work for the previous president. now you are working for me. how are you going to respond? how do i respond to you? and we note in the resident staff when that has taken place, because usually when you walk into the room, when there is a conversation going on among family members are the staff with the president's, conversation stops. they don't know whether you are going to hold the information that over here or not. we are behind the screen at the secret service puts up for security.
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we go past that. we are with the family all the time. so the family initially is very reluctant to speak openly. at some points, two weeks, six months, a year -- conversation continues when you walk into the room. there is a collective "ah, we have made it" that goes through the staff. >> betty, we had talked earlier about the get together so that residents staff have after the president and his family have left, when the presidential libraries are opened. if you could just briefly tell us about those. >> recent administrations have
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been very generous in inviting residents staff members to the opening of the library's, and many of them have taken advantage and gone to them. it is sort of like a family reunion. just recently, down at the national archives -- i actually started working there in the johnson administration. there was a wonderful reception, inviting all previous johnson administration staff to come. after all those years had gone by, 40 years, it was just absolutely wonderful to see people that you had worked with all those years ago. i think there is that camaraderie if you work closely
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with and administration, regardless of what position you held, that he worked for a common -- i don't want to say a common cause, but a common sense, that you were in it together, and you went through all these crises, good times and bad times, and have very fond memories, particularly of the people that you worked with over the years. >> in looking at the white house, the organization has grown enormously that supports the president, but also the organization has gotten larger that supports the first lady. both anita and susan served as chief of staff for laura bush and michelle obama. i wonder if you can tell us about the organization that the first lady needs, and why she needs it, and how you interact with the west wing, because you both had titles, not only as chief of staff for the first lady, but assistant to the president.
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how did those titles work together? >> there is no doubt that looking at the organization chart, which i know you have, the east wing staff is clearly rounded. that is indicative of how much more is expected of the first lady in what she chooses to do with her platform, which is a privilege to represent the people of the united states, both at home and around the world. there is an increased expectation, and with it, the pressure to do something with this opportunity. so the staff rose to support the initiatives. initiatives are selected by the first lady, with one fundamental in mind. how can a work that i do support the work of the administration and the work of the president? going to the point that they are not paid, and it removes their flexibility and their ability to pick and choose the causes they want to engage in and to really use their background and experience and bring authenticity to their work, but it is reflective of what the overall goals are of the administration.
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the first lady is not running a shadow government. as pat nixon said, it is the hardest unpaid job in the world, but it is an extraordinary opportunity and a privilege. the chief of staff is there to dissemble information in order to do this work, in addition to that social office and the importance of the diplomatic world, it is really the policy work. we have to thank rosalynn carter for being the first to establish the role of project director in the office of the first lady. >> do remember how laura bush came upon the initiative for afghan women? >> sure. laura bush came into the white house in 2001, and she had already been a little bit typecast as the shy, retiring library in teacher. she was asked who are you going to be, barbara bush or hillary clinton? she said i know barbara bush. well, so i am going to be heard. she was confident in their relationship as husband and wife and the partnership they had had through their life, in public life and private life.
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they came into the white house and she was going to take her interest from texas to washington, which is establishing the national book festival, which is now continuing in its 12th and 13th year. she had an interest in education. that was a major initiative of the administration, no child left behind -- she was an advocate. and then september 11 happen, and that changed everything. the pivot that not only our country had to make, but she had to make as well. having this role and this platform, and what would she do with it, and how could she be part of this effort? and she delivered a radio address in november 2001, the first first lady to deliver presidential radio address on the plight of afghan women. this had been exposed to the world as a brutal treatment of women. that became an important cause for her. she said what struck her after that radio address, she was visiting her daughter at the university of texas in austin, and she was at a department store.
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women at the makeup counter came up to her and said, thank you so much for speaking out about afghan women. she realized she had this enormous platform that was not only domestic but it was global. from that point forward, and to this day, she is still deeply engaged in afghan women's issues. we were able to put forward an important desire that she had, which was to go to afghanistan, which would get within two months of the second term. >> susan, can you tell us about let's move, and the american military initiative? >> mrs. obama certainly knew that in theory, that being the first lady was an enormous opportunity for a platform. when she got to the white house, she was not sure exactly how that would play itself out in
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her case. however, during that first election campaign, she spent a lot of time with military families, and understood that these were extraordinarily resourceful people who would never ask for help. she thought that the country could do a lot more for them. she felt when she got to the white house that this was an area where she could make a difference. with respect to the let's move campaign, she started with the idea of the white house kitchen garden. she thought this would be great to have a conversation with the country about children and health. i think she did not appreciate at first how this would resume, that the country was ready to have this conversation. at some point after a few months, she said to her staff, i would like this to be a campaign. this is going to be something i will be working on, and no doubt this is something she will be involved in for the rest of her life, as she will the issue of military families. so we worked for months, and i was just thinking about your related question about the west wing. the first lady's chief of staff is her representative in the west wing.
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one of the important roles is to coordinate them. we knew for months -- we came up with the name, let's move. the campaign started on february 9, which was supposed to be at a community center, but of course there was one of those snowstorms, so we had to move into the state dining room. things were well coordinated with the west wing until that morning. somehow we realize that the president was going to stop by the press briefing room at the exact time where she was going to launch let's move from the state dining room. that was one of those things that's, there was great effort from everybody's part and at the last minute we somehow realize that and were able to stay in the west wing. i do not think the president is going to want to step on the first lady's initiative, so they moved their time a little bit. >> the bush first ladies were very popular and they continue to be, whether it was through their campaigns, their
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personalities, or just a general way that people perceived them to be. they tended to have much stronger support even than their husbands. that leads in a reelection campaign for the first lady to then go out and campaign for her husband. how did both first ladies feel about that role of political support for their husbands? you could compare it with before they came into office, and then when they worked in the reelection campaigns. before they came into office,
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obviously they did not have a lot of political experience going out and speaking on behalf of the president, but they certainly did by the re- election. >> in terms of the popularity
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question, every problem in the world comes to the desk of the american president. by virtue of that reality, not everybody is going to be happy. your popularity is going to take big hits from time to time. the first lady does not have that pressure. she gets to pick and choose the thing she wants to work on. in terms of the political involvement, which is a slightly different question. laura bush, from the minute she got married or started dating george w. bush, he was from a political family and involved in politics. as much as she pleaded not to ever have to give a public speech, she became quite good at it, and over time, and through the different campaigns -- the campaign for governor, the campaign for congress.
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he famously talks about how they were coming back from a speech and he asked her how was my speech? she said well, it was horrible, and he proceeded to drive a car right through the garage. he was not at all happy with that response. the political spouse really is the one person who can be most honest with you, and they do get deeply engaged and deeply involved. it is important to the success of their spouse in these campaigns. in 2004, she was a pivotal person in the campaign. it was a very difficult time. the country was at two wars. she got out there, and to a great degree, her speech at the new york convention in 2004,
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where she spoke to the human side of being president of the united states, and watching the great struggle of this big, tough decision, including sending people to war and how painful that is, that none of this is taken lightly, i think it was an important moment. >> i agree with anita that one of the things the first lady can do that no one else can do is humanize the president. one of the things mrs. obama has always felt is that she was happy to campaign, but had to do it in a voice that was natural to her, and honest. she did not want to campaign for a candidate she did not know at all, because it did not feel real to our. on the other hand, she wanted to be helpful. when the president was working on health-care reform, she gave three different speeches on the subject. one of the speech she gave, and this was a campaign of a different sort, it was about breast cancer survivors and how continuing care is important and how health-care reform
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would help people get preventive care and continuing care. when it came to the actual reelection campaign, i think it was sort of a no-brainer. she has always felt her role was to support the administration in any way she could, and this was something she felt strongly about, our husbands reelection. so she was out there and gave many, many speeches. she is really a natural. she likes campaigning and really likes to get to go out and about, away from washington, and meet just normal people on the campaign trail. >> one of the things that we have talked about doing, i asked you all to come up with a question for one of your fellow panelists. i don't know what your questions are, or who you are going to ask them to, but let's go to it and everybody can chime and also with answers. betty, would you like to start us off? do you have a question for a fellow panelist about the role of the first lady? >> i will direct my question to both of the former chiefs of staff.
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there is such a great interest in first ladies today. my question for them is, in terms of respecting their privacy in their lives, how do you draw the line in terms of releasing information or protecting the privacy of the first lady and the family? >> that is a great question. it is one of the things that every first lady wrestles with. she is sort of the protector of the family sanctuary that surrounds the president, particularly when they live above the store, and you try to
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have a private life and the public eye. it is certainly not easy. you also recognize you are in a public role, and people want to know about you. they want to know about your family life. it is about striking a balance. it is difficult but important. working with the great secretary who can be honest with the first lady and let her know that sometimes she needs to put some nuggets out there. it is difficult when you have young children.
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>> that is the area mrs. obama feels most strongly about. mrs. clinton is a good example of someone who she felt was extremely effective at protecting chelsea clinton as best as she could, and this wonderful young woman who grew up in the white house. having small children in the white house, again, above the store, above the museum, above a place where there are reporters all the time. how do you handle it if the girls want to go ride their bikes on the south lawn, which is in the rose garden, which is where reporters find themselves. we have to come up with all kinds of rules. one of which was that the
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children could not be photographed unless they were with one of their parents. that was one of those compromises. i think for the most part, the fact that the girls were able to go to summer camp and go to school and have a more or less normal life is something that i think their friends, their friends' families are great about encouraging and supporting, but i think the tug-of-war with the press is something that is inevitable. the obamas know that people are genuinely interested in for the most part, in a nice and caring way, and yet these girls have a right to their privacy. >> i have a really tough question. how do you feel about guest
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chefs in the white house? do you agree to bring a certain guest chef to the white house because the first lady tells you so? or because you are in agreement with having a guest chef in the kitchen? >> there were times over the years when they did bring in a guest chef to participate in some of the very big events on the lawn. the congressional review, for example. -- barbeque, for example. they brought their favorite texas barbecue chef to work with the kitchen. i remember another time when they brought in a guest chef, and this was after hurricane katrina. mr. bush made about 25 visits down to the gulf coast during the redevelopment of the gulf coast. chef paul prudhomme and emeril lagasse were invited.
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it was an important message that the gulf coast was coming back and restaurants reopening. there was an important reason to showcase these american chefs, and particular reasons why they would come. i think that as long as the staff, the household staff and the kitchen staff are comfortable and see it as an opportunity to share their experience with an outside chef, i think it is fine, and it actually could be kind of fun to see it. [laughter] that is not the answer he wanted. >> the current white house chefs
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are fantastic, and the obamas very much appreciate what they do. part of it is particularly the state dinners, they showcase all aspects of american cooking. in every situation where there have been guest chefs, there is a collaboration, because the white house chefs know things that there is no way a guest chef knows about how things are done. i think these collaborations showcase the best of american cuisine, and real collaboration between the guest chefs and the white house chefs. >> may i add something to that? i need to. that is all fine and good.
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of course i fyou go ask christa, who is one of the chefs, what does she really feel? that is another story. probably this is where i think you don't know what she feels. i tell you differently, other chefs in the past, i think it is a slap in the face of being the white house chef. i am the chef of the white house that does everything for the family and the guests day in and day out. the day when i can shine, i am told that somebody else comes in. it is like me asking to be the president for one day. [laughter] why not? it is another job. let's put it this way. i don't believe in that, and i never will. because this is my job, and i
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would like to shine once in awhile, and this is my chance. because we know that the guest chef comes only for one day, and for one thing only. you know why, to promote their establishment. that is the only reason they come. if you would tell those guys that they cannot publicize them being in the white house, how many do you think would show up? i needed to say that, because this is my feeling. [laughter] >> i would like to ask anita, what do you think is the most difficult aspect of the role of the first lady? >> there are a couple of things, and i will list them. i think one of the hardest things is seeing the person you love most in the world criticize. i think you have to be strong, and you have to be confident in
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your relationship as a family and as husband and wife to know who your husband is, and he knows who you are. i think that is one ofi think a, private time the public requirements. that can be difficult. the night think when it is over, when it -- when it is the end of four years or eight, that you ran out of time to do all the things that one to do. that would be my answer. >> i have a question for you, martha. in the transition project, what influence heavy found that a transition that first ladies have had in the transition process? >> the first lady is going to be
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responsible for setting up the home, the family, that there is so much that goes on in setting up the west wing, concerning appointments and policy, that president is not going to have time to be spending and how the home is going to be created. i think that a first lady has got a very tough. of a job, because it is a whole new environment for her. she has to learn how to bring her family in, particularly with the young family, like michelle obama. that is what she has to focus on. before hand, they can start thinking about their issues, as both recent first ladies have done -- they thought about it before hand. the whole physical moves is
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something that they are the ones that are going to have to handle, because the president is simply not going to have the time. maybe he is going to be involved in the oval office, setting up the oval office, as george bush proudly talked about every item in the tour of the white house, why he chose particular things. >> do we have time for questions? >> do we get to ask mine? >> i am sorry. [laughter] >> my question -- [laughter] >> the administration's you work for, 5, what was the one you felt you were able to shine your craft the most? the one favorite?
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>> you know, it is quite difficult to go there because when i came to the white house, i was learning. when i went working and i could see what she wanted, she would say, this is a private home, our home, and we will showcase the best we can do. what better place to showcase it? we want the best furniture, the best wallpaper, the best cards. everything the best. it is the people's home. i understood that. this is why i embark into making those spectacular desserts all the time. after the reagans and departed the house, it continued.
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they knew, somehow, it would be something they could be a part of. at the time, we were already doing some diplomacy. introducing with a design that reflected the head of states. that is why they let me do all the way to changes in the food. if you remember, the food way back, it was served on a big platter like desserts. that went away. the dessert was never touched. there is a reason she never asked me to change it. [laughter]
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so yes, that is what i would assume. i am very proud of that. my six years in the white house have really influenced the dessert made in the white house. they were one-of-a-kind. they remained so until my last days. we also made many desserts for the first family. i remember when george w. came to the white house. the first dinner, i said i really needed to have something. i needed something texan. i came up with a design, tumbleweed. you have seen those things in texas. [laughter]
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that is what the dessert was. tumbleweed. mrs. bush did not care for it. [laughter] but president bush loved it. [laughter] we were discussing this, saying, we should go ahead because he loves it. go ahead. [laughter] little things like this makes the family very proud. >> he had one problem with the first lady and they had one problem with him. never did the same dessert twice. they were always different. >> i wanted to keep them very interested. [laughter] i did not want them to say, we will have this cake again. the head of states would be coming. i would beg my staff to throw
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any ideas in. the best one would float and that is what we would do. it was quite bold. mrs. reagan said, you cannot serve that. i remember one day doing something giant. she was having lunch. i was on my knee explaining the dessert. when i say to her, she grabbed it and started shaking it. i say, you win. [laughter] >> let's go to some questions on that note. >> hello.
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my comment is, during my time, perhaps it will be possible to have a first tenement. what the influence of the first ladies is on how that role would be? >> we came close in 2008. that would have been different because it would have been a former president. it would have been a very different situation. we are getting closer. it will happen. the white house is a very resilient and flexible place. it will adapt to all kinds of changes, just as the resident staff adapts to a new family.
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i think that is the remarkable thing about the white house. >> i had a very brief conversation with dennis thatcher. when he came to the white house. she was in, speaking with the president. he was wandering around the state for, literally wondering. i engaged him and told him some history of the white house and made very sure he's all the area. but he was a very engaging. i asked him what his role was. he said, my role is whatever she wants. [laughter] >> good. >> there are ways in which it will have to change. i think one of the issues is about working outside the home. chancellor merkle is a chemistry professor.
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there are ways in which there are men who probably do not want to play the traditional first lady role. anita is right that the white house is resilient. there will probably be a lot of questions asked and a lot of rethinking when that happens. >> my question is for anita. president bush's library will be opening soon. i just wanted to know how mrs. bush's legacy is being preserved with her influence and image in the library. >> it is a great question. it opens april 25 of this year. mrs. bush has been share of the architecture committee and chair of the landscape design committee and the planning committee. she has a great deal of influence on what the place will look like.
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this will be her life's work for the rest of her life. we did a lot of looking at other libraries. the first lady's part was relegated to a little part of the library. that will not be the case this time. her work with the president will be integrated throughout from the moment you step into the moment you walk out of the library. she is very proud of that. he is very proud of that fact. they looked at it as a partnership for up their public life. they give are asking. >> i would like to thank our panelists. you can see from our discussion at the wonderful support system first ladies and presidents have that make their lives in
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the white house so much easier, whether is the resident staff, or whether it is the political staff. they all support a wonderful support structure. thank you very much. >> thank you. [applause] >> thank you, guys. that was fun. >> thank you everyone for and enlightening session. on your way out, there will be a bag you do not want to forget. if you were not already shown, the most recent addition of white house history. [laughter] it is on white house fashion. it was timely dealing with first ladies.
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a special edition for the first lady's original series of the book was produced. that is in the bag out here. you are welcome on the way out to take a tour of the c-span bus and see all the wonderful, high-tech things on the bus. thank you again for making our session on this series very special. thank you. [applause] >> next week, watched the life and times of the nation's first first lady, martha washington.
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her life before meeting george washington, her general life, and setting precedents for the role for sleep. we will travel to the places that influenced her life, including colonial williamsburg, valley forge, and philadelphia. at 9:00 p.m. on c-span, c-span radio, and sees bad -- a special edition of the book "first ladies of the united states of america." presenting a portrait and biography of each first lady. thoughts from michelle obama on the role of first ladies throughout history. now available for the discounted price of $12.95, plus shipping and handling. at >> c-span, created by america's cable companies in 1979, brought
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to you as a public service by your television provider. >> now, the ceo of you have who talks about new technology. at age 37, morris the mayor is the youngest ceo of a fortune 500 company. this world economic forum event held in davos, switzerland last month is 30 minutes. >> the good morning. my name is eric shocker. i am an anchor an editor at large at bloomberg television. >> welcome to "insight and ideas with marissa mayer." the c.e.o. of yahoo! if i am not mistaken, this is the first such conversation since becoming ceo. >> that's right. >> well, it is an honor for both me and the economic forum. we're here to talk about the future of technology. let's begin with the one nut that no one seems to be able to crack.
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the platform shift from desktop to mobile. how do you crack that nut? >> it is really important. if you look at what is happening in terms of the shift to mobile, the number of mobile phones has tripled in five years. tablet sales will out-sell laptops this year if predictions hold true. it is really incredibly important. a lot of consumers are making the shift. one is understanding how this works, what this provides. and how we can benefit user expectations. the other piece is monetization. whenever you see a consumer shift of this type, there will be an interesting value added for -- to create modernization around it. >> where does that confidence come from? >> the bane of my existence from 1999 to 2004, i was at
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google, and every time i would interact with anyone externally, the one question they would ask me, search is wonderful, it is great to be able to find everything, how is anyone going to make any money from this? now that seems almost absurd, because search is the giant moneymaker online. that said, whenever you see consumers adopting a technology platform, a particular application like search with this much volume, you know that advertisers will want to participate. there's usually a way where you can introduce advertising such that it is not intrusive, that it adds value, that enhances the experience. that's what we need to work on. >> we can look back and see how
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that was done with search. everybody gets to play monday morning quarterback and feel smart about it. can you tell yet what some of the shifts will be in mobile that will allow mobile to duplicate the success of search as a money maker? it has to make money or else at some point innovation will grind to a halt. >> well, i think people already are. for example, the application stores, a lot of people sell applications. i think the main thing is, search is a daily habit. what people do on their phones often becomes a daily habit. when i thought about the strategy for yahoo!, i pulled the list of what people do on their phones in rank order frequency. if you ignore a few exceptions, and maps because it was really expensive and hard to do right, the list looks like, e-mail, weather, news, financial quotes, sports scores, photos.
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you get the idea. it was funny. because phil and i would recite that list on account of my being the new c.e.o. at yahoo! i would say what am i doing? my friends and family would say, you are describing yahoo! business. i would say, no, i am listing in frequency order what people do on their phones. the nice thing is at yahoo!, we have all the content that people have on their phones. >> search remains one of the defining experiences for most internet users. it seems to me that it will remain fundamental to what we do. how do you see it evolving? >> all of the innovations you
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will see in search will be in the user interface layer. if you look at the past few years, there has been universal search, search will not always be text based. when you are typing, it is responsive. voice search, a third of searches are done by voice on the phone. all of those types of things are what we will see in the future. i also think that there is a huge opportunity in the future around search personalization. what do i know already? what are my preferences? and how to present the information? we can go about how we shape the internet and order it for you. there are all of these news feeds all over the web. twitter, facebook. the question is, what order should people read these in the morning? what should they look at? how
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should they do that? to really do that, you need terrific personalization. >> personalization replaces search? once the computer figures out what it is we like to look for, it will look for it on our behalf? and we won't have to go and do it any longer? >> i think the right way to look at it is not that it replaces search, but that it becomes a critical part of the search. one provocative way of thinking about it is in terms of the logic, that is your query. in the future, you become the query. it is what you type, it is your background, it is where you are, it is your preferences, it is what you looked at yesterday. the search box can take all that input and create something that is customized for you. the nice thing is, if you are the query, you could possibly type in search terms. or you could be the query passively.
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this is the notion that we can pick up your contacts, who you are talking to, where you are. we can provide useful information or a series of links, pictures, videos more useful than your current context. >> right now for most of us, the web is still a very managed curated experience. how long does it take before we get there? >> i think it will happen in the next three to five years. a lot of what we have seen happen, image recognition, voice recognition, translation, these are backbone technologies. it is a matter of being able to take personalized notions, what articles to click on, taking all of those signals and mapping it to understand that when i like clean energy on facebook
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and i tweet out something about green energy, that is a same interest of mine. >> are different companies go to do it differently, is this something that everyone will have to move in the same direction on? >> howard things named? how're they organized into hierarchies? for example, you need to know wisconsin is a state in their cities from there. if i say i like wisconsin, there are a whole bunch of interests that cascade off of that. you need to understand the hierarchy of objects. you also need to be able to understand how they relate to each other, synonyms, duplication.
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>> does this personalization large internet companies has you have to understand what the ontology of entities is. does that create a new paradigm? the most recent thing that any of the large internet companies have come out with is this social search that facebook has introduced. it is that a stepping stone? >> there is the social graph. what i am talking about, it will give way to the interest graph. you know this set of things i am interested in, you know the other set of things other people are interested in. they aren't just based on, did they go to the same school, do they work in the same place, they are based on, are they interested in the same things? we can create personalization technologies because you can see what people are doing and
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provide you with information. there's also a very powerful social component because we can show you interests you may have in common with people you did not realize. i recently found out that the founder of linkedin and i both had the same major at stanford. symbolic systems. so you can find these kinds of things in the interest graph. you can also find people who you may have never met who you should know because you have things in common with them. >> it would seem to me a pretty high bar to entry. you have to have a platform that is fairly broad and a huge level of user engagement. right? >> that's right. and we are lucky at yahoo! because we also have finance and sports and games and things like omg! celebrity news. there are a lot of different verticals. it has broad applications like
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search and mail. >> does the interest graph have the potential to disrupt the paradigm for tech power that was, in some way, set by your old boss, the four horsemen, could the interest or something else change that order of the universe? >> i think all four of those players do a terrific job, providing a lot of great experiences. all four of those people will become major players. the analogy misses that there are other players in the space. twitter is very exciting and interesting. technology is not stagnant. it is amazing to think about different waves of the internet and technology. the first wave was yahoo! itself. the directory. there are these pages out there,
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how do you organize them? then that got so large, the directory model broke down and gave way to search. the next wave came with social. now we're on the mobile wave. that has all happened in about 15 years. we have gone through four major technology shifts in terms of who the players are. there are always opportunities for a new disruption. i think a lot of this will be around interest, but that's just my prediction. >> so we shouldn't, as consumers or in any other role that we may occupy, worry about the control that certain companies may exercise over the internet itself and the information that it contains? >> well, i think that privacy will always be something that users should consider. i also think privacy is always a trade-off. when you give up some of your personal information, you get something in return. it is about making those trade- offs.
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how the information, allowing them to control the information you have, and choice. did you want to use the services in a personalized way or not? those are the big three components of privacy online. i also fundamentally believe that user data belongs to the end user. >> the question of control is the one that gets people most exercise. how do you ensure -- how does any company that participates in the space, this industry, guarantee that remains the case and provides users with enough confidence that the information they share is not being abused? >> the second part is all about transparency. what searches do you have and how are they being used?
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that is something that is really important. there will be industry standards in terms of providing users an account statement. some of these primary platforms, what they show you it is what data you have stored there. one of the key pieces that also provides user choice is making sure the data is portable. it allows your barrier to switching carriers to be lower. one of the analogies i use, the papers you wrote in college, are they yours? absolutely. >> i feel that they are. nobody else is interested in them. >> but nothing else you have done over the past 10 years is not nearly as coherent and structured, but just as insightful in terms as they were your words expressed your
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way. and it tells a lot about what you learned. i do believe fundamentally they are yours. if you can take that history and pick it up and move to a different search provider and take that as an interest graph and use it in a different application, that should fundamentally belong to you. you are allowing the service to access it to get better information and better results. either they deliver on that promise or you take your data and go elsewhere. >> well, that raises an interesting question. should you be able to take all of that data? it sounds to me that it could be a great deal to move into one platform or another. is that possible? i can see a platform being resistant to that. >> it is technologically possible. a lot of the players are providing for something like that. it is not something that is
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generally something that people think about doing every day. but it is an option. i think it is an important one. it can give users a lot of confidence in terms of how things are handled. >> and described how one of your employees asked how yahoo! is going to compete if it doesn't have one of these four key distribution technologies. there is the mobile operating system, hardware, the brother, and social. i do not know that we got an answer. >> one of our employees as that. given that we do not have mobile hardware or a social network, how are we going to compete? >> it is a question for every company that seeks to compete with those others that have those technologies. >> of the four horsemen of the internet, almost all of them are playing in one, if not several, of those mediums. i think the big piece here is that it really allows us to
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partner. yahoo! has been a friendly company. it ultimately means there is an opportunity for strong partnerships. that is what we will be focused on. we work with apple and google in terms of the operating system. we have a strong partnership with facebook. ofre able to work with some these players in order to bolster our user experiences. >> is that diecast? you talk about this new graph, the interest graph. is that the kind of technology that will become key to distribution? >> with the web becoming so vast, there is so much context and so much social context, and now there is so much location context, how do you pull all that together? your personalization comes in
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to make sense of the content. it is the internet ordered for you. it brings yahoo! back to its roots. you cannot just categorize anymore. a feed of information that is ordered for you. it is also available on your mobile phone. >> some of those technologies remain -- there is competition in the browser world, in the mobile hardware world, and in the operating system world. what about social? >> facebook provides an amazing platform. now what happens with social is what you do with it. it will be the predominant platform. what happens in social is what
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you do with it. it is taking that and finding useful context. you are in davos right now, do you know who else is? and be able to offer me the opportunity to meet up with someone who i did not know would be here. >> there is a natural conflict in the world of technology between innovation and execution. we have seen many companies struggling with this. can both be done well at the same time? >> it was pointed out to me a few years ago. one hypothesis is what is the opposite of innovation? a lot of people would say the status quo. there is another school of thought that says the opposite of innovation is execution. if you have to be in execution mode, it is hard to find a space to innovate. for us, there is a great period of execution. can we take these products and revitalize them for the web and make the transition to mobile?
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will there be room to innovate? to say this is how yahoo! groups worked on the web, but now there are these new opportunities. can we spot some of those innovative ideas? >> is size a barrier to innovation? >> i do not think so. you can innovate at scale and with large size. if you have 10 engineers and you are going to grow that to be 20 or 30, do you want to do the same set of things two or three times better, or do you want to be doing two to three times the things? interestingly because of execution, because there's so much the opposite, if you wanted to execute perfectly, get the design exactly right, work
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through the details, you would invest two to three times as many people per project. if you want to find those new ideas, it wants to take those same people and put them on something that is far flung that you have never thought about. it really is this tension. you can innovate at scale but you need to save room to have small teams working on those ideas. >> share with us your experience over the past few months. >> you arrived to an innovative company, but perhaps there was too much going on. what have you focused on? what are you most excited about? particularly the ones you have the most control over. >> i was genuinely pleased. i knew there had to be great people at yahoo!. the same way that when you look at art, you can tell if it was created by a nice person or not. or a depressed person or not.
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you can tell with yahoo! products that there are really nice, smart people there that have a great time. it is a great company overall that has a very fun culture. my first few months, my focus -- technology companies live and die by talent. we talk about the talent wars. it is not that people in talent wars are not competitive with each other, it is just that when you start to see the best people migrating from one company to the next, it means the next wave is starting. i believe that really strong companies all have very strong cultures. yahoo! is no exception. they have been a strong company for a long time. they have a strong culture. they are different from every other corporate culture. i want to find a way to amplify
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it. amplifying it is how you find the energy, and energy is what you can harness. if we have people and they are excited about what they're working on every day and they realize the next big hurdle is mobile, you can take that energy around the culture and find fun ways to apply it that can be really impactful. >> what are some of the things you found that we will see over the next few months? >> i do not like to talk about things before we do them. i do think a lot of the keys is what i have already talked about. there is a real opportunity to help guide people's daily habits in terms of the content they read. that is something we're really
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working on. all these daily habits, these -- news, sports, games, answers, groups -- these are the types of things where we have been underinvested in them. a little love will go a long way. yahoo! groups has not been refreshed in 11 years. it will go a long way if we start to modernize some of these products. >> when people get excited about technology, they forget about the role of design. -- now people think about user- generated content in video. now saying, social allows
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everybody to be a publisher, to find topics where you a domain expert, and for your friends to know, i do think there is something powerful we can unleash there. >> howabotu elsewhere? what other innovations? >> there are so many things. the one answer you never want to give is, there is nothing. there are amazing things you get to see all the time. all kinds of amazing technolgies on mobiel. -- on mobile. location sensitvity -- all kinds
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of terrific technologies. check-in, but if you know where people are, there are other sophiosticated things you can do with that. branching out from mobile, there are terrific things happening in nalysis, doing dna a helping infertile couples selecting children,. there is amazing wireless power. this is like "atlas shrugged." they actually think you can send energy with waves.
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you might need to get close enough to a router for power. for advertising, the sign at the bus stop has wireless power, you can charge and use your device. >> >> going back to some of those routes and saying, now that -- important is designed to what you're doing? >> the design should fall away.
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a lot of these interactions technologies become really powerful when they fall away. the amazing thing about tablets, that you can flick and get rid of things and switch to page, these are so into it that you can see small children begin to use a tablets -- a tablet. there is a video of proud parents uploading, before children and no hope to talk, they know how to use a tablet. they can navigate videos. they cannot even express it, but they know how to get their use in adjusters on the tablet. what is powerful is that it uses a natural paradigms' that people already have imbedded in their minds, that are in eight to us. they allow us to be the way that we use the technology -- use the technology. that is incredibly powerful. that is overall what you really
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want to have happen, to be able to whittle away the technology, such that all the complication lies in the use. it is like a nice perk. the single layer you interact with -- that is why voice recognition has taken off to the degree it has and why siri is so interesting, this notion that you can talk, you can see what you're thinking, transcribe an e-mail, transcribe a text or research. that is the way you navigate and have every day of your life. there is a whole set of technology in supercomputers that with your voice, you can do them -- you can do with them what you want to do. >> is something akin to a walled garden, to ration, is that not such a bad thing? >> the application system that
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exists in apple is very curated, but absolutely beautiful. the reason why i do not think that is a bad thing is because it has raised user's expectations for design. people did not used to think about design or appreciate it. the fact that when you see something that is really beautiful, it does create a lot of respect for it, and one of the reasons why apple has garnered so much praise for its design is that it has made sure that the entire ecosystem of applications on a platform. >> in his state of the union address, president obama proposed raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour. but the next "washington journal," a look at how that will affect the economy. more about the president's economic proposals with jennifer eric sent from the center for american progress. we will take questions on the
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president's proposals for immigration, education, and manufacturing. a representative of the american indian congress talks about tribal relationships with the federal government and cultural issues within the native american community. "washington journal" is live every day on c-span at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> china is communism in name only today. the preserve the power of the members of the communist party. they basically through most of the the ideology aside when the country was opened up, and it is now capitalist haven. condi is now in china, they talked at great lengths about marxism, leninism, but it is all about preserving the power -- the party's power economically as the country grows. they threw aside most vestiges of communism long ago. in north korea, it is all about
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preserving the power of the military and the kim dynasty. it has nothing to do with what karl marx's vision of communism. somebody could do a fascinating book on how coming this summer, when it moved into asia, diverged into something different in china, north korea, vietnam, then, is an upper -- that. in -- that appeared in europe. >> 34 years of reporting around the world -- with keith richards on c-span's "q&a." >> and now, discussion on campaign finance law following the 2009 s citizens united case. the supreme court ruling allows unlimited spending on political advertising from outside groups. from the cato institute, this is just under three hours.
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>> we will continue the love fest later. let's get down to business and talk about post-citizens united. the question we have been asked to address is, have elections changed because of the citizens united decision? when i talk about it, the typically encompass within that the case that john mentioned, not only because i was one of the co-counsels on that, along with the institute for justice, but because it is technically the case that allows the super pacs. it is a more important case of the citizens united, except for the fact that citizens united got to the supreme court first.
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i use the term citizens united to retreat -- to refer to both of those cases. the fact is, these cases did not change nearly so much as some people think. for example, prior to citizens united, groups that we called 527s could run ads, any time prior to 60 days -- 60 days for the general election, in which they could say anything wanted about a candidate as long as they did not conclude by saying, vote for this candidate, or vote against this candidate, or words that are known as expressed advocacy. the could say, john sample is a dirty rotten scoundrels who steals social security checks from social -- from senior
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citizens. tell them we do not need his agenda in washington. people would say, that is upsetting. you could do that before citizens united, out of those windows near an election. furthermore, after -- prior to 2003, you could do that any time, prior to mccain-sign -- fine gold -- mccain-a fine gold. there was even more -- mccain- feingold. corporations and unions to pay for these ads, just as they could post-citizens united. the nature of the ads were a little bit different. these ads could be conducted by nonprofit organizations. to give you an example, here is a real ad -- this was run by the
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naacp in 2000. it features images of a battered pickup truck and chains, dragging an individual, a black man to his death. the voice-over says, i am at james birds daughter. my father was killed in texas. he was beaten and dragged 3 miles to his death, all because he was black. when gov. george w. bush refused to support hate crime legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again. call george w. bush and tell them to support it, legislation. we will not be dragged away from our future. that ad was wrong in the week before the 2000 presidential election. it was by a corporation. is that a radical change from where we are post-citizens united? it might be better ago we did not have that ad, but i wanted to stress, the change is not so great as some might think.
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moreover, the change is not so great in an important way. to the average citizen, he notices the difference in the the campaign. there are a lot of news stories trying to rile him up and trying to talk about the corporate meritocracy. the campaign pretty much look like any other campaign. there were lots of tv ads, which we know people hate. we also know from political science research that tv ads are formative for report -- for voters. voters claim they hate that. they have said that in every poll that has been taken since i was born. it is shown that negative tv ads can make voters moved considerably. the think the campaign is too long. the have said that in every poll since i was born. it has gone too long. candidates have to start raising
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money earlier because it is hard for candidates to raise money because they're subject to limits, limits that have not kept up with inflation. all these things to the average voter, while the boehner content -- complaints about them -- these are the things that voters have always complained about, like the weather or whatever else it is that people just talk about as a day-to-day thing. having said that, citizens united and the other cases that have came in its wake are in fact, nonetheless, important cases. i think it is an important difference to be able to express advocacy ads. i think there is ed -- evidence that express advocacy ads can be affected. you might want to do an issue ad where you do not ask somebody to vote for somebody, but sometimes, you do want that expressed advocacy. expressed advocacy ads, and the ability of corporations and
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unions and nonprofits to fund those, creates a more honest system. people say what they mean. they do not say, call george bush, and tell them to support eight crimes legislation. that is not really an issue. your tried to get people to vote against him in the election. it has definitely increased the amount of spending in political campaigns. it is tough to get an exact amount, but it is safe to say that somewhere between 10%-20% of the spending in the last election was probably due to the liberalization of campaign finance laws that has taken place. if somebody wants to claim it is more or less, i will not release argue, unless they for -- unless they throw out on a rigid a preposterous figure. again, there is good information that higher spending can lead to
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a more informed and better informed electorate. it can be used to suppress voter turnout, but it can also be used to increase voter turnout. in the two elections we have had, 2010, 2012, turnout has not been a problem. it has been pretty good for the midterm in 2010 and the general in 2012. the other thing that we have often said is that this idea of an undisclosed spending -- or the term that groups have agreed on, dark money -- that seems to be the term that all liberal reform organizations are talking about, they probably focus group that -- that is a misnomer. when they say ads are undisclosed, every political ad says who paid for it. it is in every political ad. it is the law. what they need to say is, we do
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not know enough about these groups, or as much about these groups, as we would like to know. we wish we knew more about them. if you take the chamber of commerce, the u.s. chamber of commerce, i'm not sure that comes into play. if there is somebody who cannot figure out what the basic agenda of the u.s. chamber of commerce is, i would say, there were not even voting. it is not that hard to know what the chamber of commerce agenda is. is it really that important that we know exactly what companies gave to a many million-dollar budget, which many company is not a dominant percentage? the problem might be greater when you have groups with names -- there was one group called american commitment, that ran ads in the last cycle. people say, i cannot judge that message. i do not know who that candidate
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might be beholden to. this has been so overplayed. the estimates i have taken, from the center for responsive politics, about 7% of the spending in 2012 came from groups that did not disclose their donors, the donors to those groups. this is a decline from 2010. it is not surprising that this has been a decline, because the only groups that do not have to disclose donors are non-profit trade organizations, unions, and this is generally dollars in small amounts. anybody who would give to these groups specifically with the idea, i want to do political activity, has to realize that
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these groups are limited under the irs code to spending -- the irs has never defined it well -- it is clearly under half of what they do on political activity. that goes hand-in-hand with their legal status. if they do more than that, they are violating their legal status. these groups are spending less than that. if you are a guy who wants to influence an election, you give your money to one of these groups because you do not want your name disclosed, you have to realize that your paying about a 50% tax and your political activity. that is about half the money you give them will not be used in the campaigns that you want it used in. that can be misleading. they might do it for other things you like. they might run a nice ads talking about the need for more deficit spending, or the need to reduce the deficit or something like that, outside the context of the -- the context of elections. if you want to effect an election, that is not the way to
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do it. you'd rather give it to super pac, which has to expose -- disclose all of its donors and expenditures. we should also talk about, how has citizen united actually affected the races? as one of the biggest things it has done is that it has made race is more fluid. it is possible to get money into a political race much more quickly than it used to be the case. one can view that as good or bad. most incumbent politicians tend to view that is bad. why? most incumbents would start with a big lead in name recognition and fund-raising. the used to be pretty comfortable. would get the big influx of cash? the classic example would be the 2010 race between bob average, a blue dog democrat in north carolina, and a woman named rene elders. etheridge had one election --
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won election pretty easily. in 2008, he had token opposition. 2010 was known to be a bad year for democrats. he was going after joggle but to run reelection. he was on nobody's watch list, not even on the likely democratic to watch. he was a safe seat in every one of the major rankings, until one day, he is walking outside the capitol building, and sunland -- some of these journalists asked him hard questions he did not like, and he lost his temper, and these young student journalists, he was trying to grab the camera or throw a punch. it looked really bad. he was probably going out of step with his district anyway, in the sense his voting record was becoming more liberal. the district was becoming more conservative. this provided the opening -- the -- for for elmer's
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it has been successful, as i mentioned earlier in my comments. giving in a little bit of leaves to a set of problems. what i want to ask is, is that the future? is that the way to go? what remains to be done? what kind of restrictions are there still on speech? i want to start with incremental things that will be discussed and tried to integrate things about larry's comments and then go to non-incremental outcomes before finishing. let's start with the incremental. prohibition should be of the greatest concern to people concerned about freedom of speech or liberty in general.
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what provisions are there on financing political activity? in terms of prohibitions, the one that sticks out is the prohibition on foreign nationals being involved. the decision has been made here. we can go on about that. you can actually argue about it. probably not as solid as most, but i do not see the point. arguing for a foreign national participation is an idea that is so heavily weighted with negativity that there is nothing worth the cost of bringing that about. i think that will probably be not at the center of concern, at least in the near future. in terms of restraint, contribution limits within the system are going to continue. heaven and earth was moved in mccain-feingold, part of a big deal to get contributions raised inside the system, contributions raised to a point where there
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were still below the inflation rate of 1974 so we still have not recovered the real value of them. if you want to go outside contribution limits, there is likely to be vehicles, organizations, and the ability to do so will be guaranteed after citizens united. do you want to go down this stage, put a lot of effort in trying to get rid of contribution efforts when they can be, if you want to get more than that, there is a possibility. if not, giving directly to candidates of parties. there was the coordination limits network -- that was mentioned earlier today. there is a good chance of that falling, but it has not fallen yet. they may loosen those limits. that will be something that we can focus on and mention a few are concerned about these issues. i do think there is an issue that was not raised earlier today in talking about parties.
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libertarianism is particularly sensitive, even if they're not associated with a party. the sense that the parties have a central, controlling role and they do not like outside forces. there for enhancing the party rules and the party role is something that has downside, too. i suspect the answer is the people who are outside the system, i do not know this but i suspect it is the case, that if the rules of the game were different, that much of the money that would go to outside groups would go to parties. the soft money era found its way to the party. i would not suspected to be so.
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in that sense, the libertarians should reject it. you are not preventing an outside source from having a role. there is some demand for that, but not a great deal. that brings us to public financing. that is what professor lessig reads us in the current system. his indictment, what i would say about it, a lot of the assertions that exist are probably quite weak. it is not conclusive literature. i want to mention that. still, the idea that it weakens trust in the congress, the perception of corruption weakens trust in congress, weakens participation. there are a host of other variables and causes that have been explored and shown to have stronger effects.
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that leads to non-voting or the poor perception of congress. the studies of congress have shown that you can explain the poor perception of congress by looking at the economy and the fact that most americans do not like conflict, confrontation, fighting with one another, all the stuff that goes on in democracy and compromise has a big effect in driving down congressional approval ratings. another empirical issue that i know something about was the medicare. the money argument has been it is a single variable, a single explanation of all the things that go on in the world. the doc fix, why did it happen? the refusal to cut provider payments in the medicare system. you have contributions and so on. in the 1997 period, when there was a cut in providers, they always go after provider's first.
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what went into effect and what happened? people stopped providing medicare to the recipients of medicare. that is politically active people over 65. they went directly to their representatives and, sure enough, you ended up with a doc fix, which i suspect is fixed only with a fiscal cliff. there is another explanation. it always does not have to be a small group of people controlling everything. which leads me to my next question before i get back to public financing. professor lessig's understanding of corruption is dependent on the phrase by james madison that any kind of motor or effort that is driven by anything other than the people along, and a general understanding of what the republic was in federalist 10. it talks about how complicated the problem of who the people
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are and what they do and how you have a system that is a stable and lasting republic. the concern, as you may recall is that medicine is concerned with factions. he is concerned with minority factions and majority factions. he is particularly concerned with majority factions and the effect they would have on the rights of the minority and the permanent interest of the community. as far as i know, if you look at the first amendment, it does not say that congress shall not abridge freedom of speech unless they're talking about a small number of people in the primaries. in fact, people have the right to do that. that is part of the federalist number 10 idea, that people have the right to fund a candidate to make their case.
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i contend that the notion of the people alone is an ambiguous idea. it is a horrible strategy because everybody knows what the people want. the only problem is, everyone has a different perception of what they wanted in their own head, they know what the people would do and the things that happen are different. therefore, we have corruption. the federalist no. 10 is more complicated than that. if you are trying to have a system in which people -- now, professor lessig's response would be that the primaries are controlled by a small number of funders. if that is true and these people are individuals, why is it the case that during the big money era, 1996 and after, both parties have become much more physiologically sorted. the democrats have become much more liberal.
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republicans controlled by their small number of contributors in the primaries. the democratic party is much more to the left than it was in 1996 or even 2000. during this period, how does that square with a bunch of rich people control everything? it does not square very well. the answer is, despite the fact that private money is about to destroy us, their answer is not getting rid of it, at least not in the first instance, in part because it is unconstitutional. the answer is public financing, a voucher system. the problem with public financing is, from a libertarian or liberty perspective it is, you're going to have to coerce people to give up tax money to spend on public financing.
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you have to ask yourself, where does the coercion come in and why does it? most public financing campaigns are not like that. it was very unpopular with most people. the problem of public financing, even if i were to agree with it or be open to it, is that people do not want it. that is one of the incumbent concerns, another reason why you do not have it. the other problem is what might be called a slippery slope argument. the idea is to get public financing, public financing will then have great advantages or turn out to be a great idea. at the end of the day, without banning private financing, you can crowd it out. whether people or to give money now cannot give because of public financing and so on.
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the idea is to set up a system so that, without forcing people, i am not going to distort what he is saying, he is not saying to ban public financing or make it illegal, but it is interesting to me that the central ethics endorsed the notion from a central campaign that the candidate they take financing from, and they pledge, legally they may be required to, to take only public funds. if you could get everyone to take only public funds, then you have gotten rid of private financing. the private financing act is a real constraint on government, at least potentially so. it also can expand government. we have to be honest about these things. some of it, in some measure, without getting out of hand
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about this, some of it is caused by, mediated by campaign contributions. however, if you have an all voluntary system, including money coming from people voluntarily, you have the problem that this might be an attempt to crowd out or eliminate public financing. private financing, you want people to run campaigns on the government. you want them to be able to constrain the government. that is why it is important. other things can be said. many things can be said about what central ethics said. public financing does strike me as, depending on how it is done, if it is done on a voluntary basis, it is certainly much less
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objectionable to a system in which you have restrictions and prohibitions, like we have had for about 30-40 years. tax credits also, we probably want to talk about it. they have some of the same issues. i want to talk about disclosure real quickly. disclosure is going to be what most people are talking about for the next couple of years. we have a disclosure system for many years in the united states. consider this. once you are outside the system and, according to citizens united, you are outside the sphere of corruption as a legal matter.
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that means disclosure, which has been approved by the supreme court, has basically two justifications. one was to prevent corruption. if you are outside that kind of rationale, the rationale for disclosing these kinds of post- citizens united spending is gone. the other is that disclosure helps voters, informs them, educates them, helps them cast votes more sensibly and more in accord with their own concerns. it does this by telling people they are supposed to look around and see how people they know contributed. that could be their neighbors. it could also be nationally renowned figures, endorsements. it is this cue taking that it helps voters and gives them more information. this is the political science idea. political science has shown, maybe it is the only thing that political science has shown. voters, for the most part, do not have very much information
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at all about candidates, elections, and politics. they need a great deal of information. one of the things going on is a collective action problem. somebody has to pay for informing voters. i would come back to the public financing issue, which is it is pretty clear that citizens do not want to, which could be seen as a problem. it is also a long-term fact. disclosure -- my point being, about the information, disclosure of corporate heads and these people, voters most in need of some sort of disclosure are not going to have information about these people. they will not have any useful information of -- out of most of the things that are forced to be disclosed about citizens united.
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they are not going to get any good -- they may or may not know who the rep is. how are they going to know what it means for some individuals name or job or whatever is going to give them information? what we need to do is come up with better alternatives. at this point, the just say no strategy has been one of saying no. i have illustrated why i think it has been fantastically successful. with disclosure, we need to think about alternatives to disclosure, which has also the effect, probably, of tilling some speech, which is a first amendment value. could we have a plan of disclosure that neither chills speech and informs voters better? if you have these two things, it
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is something that would not be particularly problematic from a liberty point of view. from a general point of view, a win-win situation. this is the idea that bruce has about semi-disclosure. that advertisements of the independent source would be identified not in relation to people but in a chord with the interest that is involved. in the end, the kind of information that you would get from people, voters want the intermission and assess the information according to the kind of interest. they are worried about unrest affecting the truth or falsity. that kind of argument has a constitutional status in the supreme court doctrine. that is why it semi-disclosure
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would answer that. it would give better information and since the individuals would remain not disclosed directly to the voter, the chill would presumably be lessened. it is also true, there would be a lot of disclosure about individuals in the pages of the new york times and elsewhere as we have seen. still, the official system would not be that way. it seems to be something we can be behind on the liberty side and something that would point us toward other alternatives. i want to close with this -- i guess i am naturally pessimistic because i started by saying what a great success all of this have been. i have come to think that a possibility of citizens united and speech now is directly linked to citizens united. if citizens united were
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overturned, it is likely that speech now would go quickly thereafter. i have come to think that it is more likely that it might be overturned. it will not be through constitutional amendment or a bill, it would be done by one of the five members of the majority leaving the court. let's leave it at that. what would happen thereafter is president obama would insist that whoever he nominated, among other things, one of his priorities would be a person who would overturn citizens united. you would have a big fight and you could end up with a five- person majority. for a while, it would not matter much because ultimately, you still have to pass a law through congress. but you do not.
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the vermont legislature could simply pass a state law and that could go to the supreme court pretty quickly and get citizens united overturned. to have some kind of actionable federal effect, it would have to go through congress. there would have to be a lot to reinstate the status quo pre- citizens united. that might be very hard to do. but it is possible. what i'm saying is that there is risk. i think the risk is probably greater than people think about citizens united. it is not yet stable. it is unfortunate that there is not a great deal of evidence that we have won the battle of public opinion. citizens united is not a popular
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decision. i would be concerned about that. in that sense, i would think that it would make sense to begin to look for possibilities of the settlement that incorporates particularly speech now but also citizens united. perhaps better alternatives on disclosure and other things. a settlement in which we can all agree to find some basis going forward. in part, because, in the end, we waste a lot of time and it poisons the well of our discourse. with that, i am over my time and i shall sit down. thank you very much. [applause] >> thanks. when john asked me to moderate, he also invited me to step out of the world of moderator for a couple of minutes to make some comments. so i will do so and i will be very brief. it turns out that a fair amount of what i wanted to say, john has already said. the morning has been framed by two questions.
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one is, what did change with citizens united or the cluster of events that we label as citizens united? the other is, what should change next? first, what has changed? something has changed, in fact. previous vehicles have spoken to that, presented different perspectives. in law, we have heard and both bob bauer and the panel and france smith noted that it was a culmination of a long series of developments which ultimately lead to a point to use a phrase that we have used at the campaign finance institute and other publications to a point where you can see limits on what accomplished.
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it does not mean citizens united has done away with what one could possibly accomplished through limits. that is to say i do believe that contribution limits do relate to and prevent plenty of examples of the extortion and actual corruption in that direction. both contributions to parties and candidates. but limits or restrictions do not and cannot alter the fundamental dependency issues. or promote greater equality and participation, which i would be very frank in talking about.
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more -- nor do i think it appropriate to promote equality for restrictions, but i do think it is appropriate to promote it. when i shift to what should change, when you focus everything around citizens united, what you are focusing the discussion on is on what is present in the system. instead, i think professor lessig's remarks, and the campaign finance institute has talked about it in its research, they have focused on what is absent. you cannot have an effect on what is absent by restricting what is present. rather, you get that by focusing on matters that would build up rather than squeeze out. will that happen? will that approach be part of the public's action agenda?
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it has already become part of the conversation agenda, an important part of the public agenda. people who are identified with the reform community are very different from those six years ago. these will be talked about. talking is the prelude to action. do i think there will be action in the next two-four years? no. pass a bill at the federal, not directly, but these are at the state level. it is on the conversation agenda and the research agenda. is it appropriate to look at a possible use of tax money if the money is steered through donor actions? we could debate that. i would argue yes. there is no way that such an agenda can or would crowd out independent spending.
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that i do not think is an issue. that is the way i would frame the discussion. it is a conversation-changer as well as a conversation-starters. let me tell you what we will do for questions and answers. there are microphones. please wait for the microphones. announce yourself, direct your questions to one of the three speakers or all. where is the microphone now? we can start. the microphone is already situated in the middle ear. put your hand up if you would like the microphone. you may choose where you will go. we have some people to have not asked yet. we have one here, one there.
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>> my name is david. i could describe myself as a democratic political operative. i would like to direct my question to mr. samples and take issue with your contention that public financing is not popular. i would point to the voters in maine and arizona, the ballot of public financing laws. the people who do not like public financing are many incumbent politicians. i am from massachusetts. in 1996, people in massachusetts overwhelmingly approved public financing only to have the law repealed in the legislature. my question to you is, what is your basis for concluding that people do not want public financing? >> i agree with you about the incumbents.
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that is part of the problem. the problem to overcome if the work problem. seeing that incumbents are able to deal with it as they do, there is not an overwhelming urge for it. the reason is in my book that i wrote. i looked at polling going back to 1938. one thing i did notice is the general trend. while campaign finance reform generally gets a 60-40 majority from people, for a long time, with the exception of 1973-1979, you have anywhere from 65 to 60 against public financing. the campaign institute did extensive polling where they would talk about it. mike would say they probably got a different result. in general, i think that people do not see it that way.
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i think the incumbent resistance is not surprising, but, at the same time -- i would add one thing. the next 10 years, the discretionary spending at the federal level will come under heavy pressure, precisely because of the polling data. >> the question was also directed to professor lessig. >> one of the most troubling things about the polls, a confounding factor about americans, which is, there was a poll last summer that 80% of americans believe that every campaign finance change has been designed with the purpose of protecting incumbents. when you say congress has an idea and the idea is public financing, when the public says they do not like it, is that
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because of the attitude 80% of us have or is there something about the particular poll? i have seen scads of polling. depending on how things are framed, you can get the answer you want and i want, which is a very strong support for public funding. everybody knows this but nobody says it. why do we trust what the polls say? it is a terrible way of understanding what americans would agree about. if we had a deliberative poll, where people had the chance to understand the issues and were given the information, what would they say? i would bet one month's salary that people would say they supported change that would remove the corrupting influence inside politics. fortunately, nobody took me up on that bet. [laughter]
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>> this gentleman had a hand up for a while. >> thank you. you talked a bit about the papers. madison did not disclose he wrote them at that time. is that a bad idea? >> there are a couple of different forms of that. mandated disclosure, you would probably be anonymous. there is a proposal that instead of trying to have restrictions, you have forced anonymity of donors. my problem there is i think it is interesting, but i do not think you can sustain that kind of anonymity. a student of congress made this argument.
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i think that is probably correct. anonymous speech has its role to play. it is certainly true and it is primarily because of the chill. chilling disclosure can lead to anonymity. it is hard to measure that and see how that generally happens. comes from the situation itself. which is that, if you are giving money to get someone out of office, and if you are giving large sums of it, remember you are attacking or trying to get out of office, they may not seek
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retribution against you, but that does not mean you have to believe that going in. people might not fund kinds. it is also true there is a lot of funding where people find hundreds of millions of dollars. in those situations, i think anonymity is good. being anonymous and at the same time helping voters. a lot is about trying to control the other side's contributions. if you believe that, my proposal will not work. but i think my proposal for anonymous and yet informative disclosure beats all the
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problems we have talked about. >> start here and go back there. >> the world you have described where there are special interests that thrive on good luck and where we have the dependents who have created their own self perpetuating dependency, what do you see, assuming there is nothing on the horizon to change the course we are on, what you see that is down the road. what is the worst possible imaginable outcome you see? >> well, it is a very, very, very dark story. there is not a single important issue we face that we will get a sensible answer on, except for the ones that get exploded.
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for example, there might be something around guns that gets pushed because of the tragedy. the republican party might think it is about to be extinct if it does not deal with immigration. those issues get pushed in a political way to get resolved. inconsistent from the theory. but climate change, tax policy, a health care system that is actually efficient and rational, financial reform, none of these issues can be addressed in a rational and sensible way. i do not mean liberal only. i am talking about conservative issues, too. so my book is a dark story about this. i think we have to confront the fact that we have lost the capacity to govern in some
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important way. it is on top of a constitutional scheme that is already set up to facilitate a lot of checks on the government doing anything. separation of power is much harder to govern with already. lay this on top of it and you make it not governable. one small quibble with something john said. the dependency line i point to is dependency on the people alone. this is not because madison thought there was an interesting way people wanted. that is insanely difficult.
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what he is talking about is the dependency. the government is to avoid the wrong dependencies. we want an executive that cannot by congress, so we have all sorts of separation to make sure the right dependencies to congress exist. they were obsessed with dependency the way with jane austen was, and the dependency reduces the independent that is so important. the part that is optimistic and i want to emphasize this point, john and i have been on a number of channels. enormous respect. he is unique in recognizing the way the debate has moved. what michael has been doing for ever, and what some of us have been trying to insist on is the old debate. whether people were saying, stop talking, we want to silence you.
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that is not the debate today. it is about what the alternative ways of funding might reduce the kind of pressure we think exists in the system. systems are just another way of funding that makes it so the kind of dependency i am talking about is easier. >> i want to have a brief comment. we are supposed to fight. but this is a more positive comment. i remember sitting in a house administration committee and i was testifying about the act, which i had studied since 2005, and the way of larry had become involved. i came in at the end of the story. i would sit there and listen and think, wow, he has had a big effect on these people and it
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has been very positive because it has taken out most of the restrictions. he had brought something like, he would give people $1.50 million. i was thinking, this would never pass because the members do not want it and republicans will not be behind it. but i did think larry had a positive effect, definitely. we will fight later, if you want. >> one more. this gentleman's hand is up. >> i want to say i think the idea of not personally identifying disclosure does have interesting opportunities to solve some of the disclosure issues. getting back to the public financing issue, i agree it will not happen on the federal level. the state incubators, we could see proposals going on in the states.
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my question is what do you do about the issue of independent expenditures in a public financing environment? everybody agrees you cannot just than independent expenditures if in fact they are truly independent. what do you do about them in that kind of circumstance? and is there something on the regulatory basis to redefine independent expenditures in a way where they are more truly independent as opposed to link to the candidates speaking? >> who is this directed at? >> professor lessig, but to anyone who wants to tackle coronation. >> i think people have read too much into the court's decision. the reason i think that is
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related to the question roger asked in the first panel. people in this field i think the world of corruption as far as the court thinks about his distinguished between quid pro quo corruption and this equality corruption. in that world, there is no corruption. what i have tried to suggest, and there was a brief that pushed this idea, is that there is another conception of corruption that is much more attuned to what the framers cared about. this dependency corruption. while i do not think there is a constitutional way to stop the coke brothers from writing a check for $10 million and spending it on a particular ad, i do think it is moved too quickly in that independent cannot possibly be regulated under this conception of dependency corruption. the reason that is true is because a dependency corruption does not reverse citizens united.
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i agree with the results of citizens united. they should have upheld the right of the non-profit filmmaker to spend the money to promote their films. if the first amendment means anything, it has to mean that. that is a separate question of whether it extends to every kind of structure. the broader perspective of what corruption is not distinct conception of what corruption gives you for thinking about that. there is legislation that will specifically build on that. let me add one more footnote about your anonymous donation point.
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bruce sets out a voucher system and really sets out a scheme for facilitating anonymous donations. it is a really brilliant scheme. florida tried it for judges. judicial races, the only way to give money to the campaign was to do it anonymously. nobody gave any money. once it was anonymous, all contributions dried up. even though i agree with an analytic point, this does solve a problem, but we are still left with a problem. how do you fund a campaign? all you have is $300 million. >> a conversation with justice ruth bader ginsburg. later, from the us chamber of congress a4, -- a form on education. on c-span2, simpson and erskine
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bowles will discuss a federal budget, federal spending and the automatic cuts that will take place on march 1. then at 10:00, we will hear from former ambassador dickinson. last courage from the brookings institution also on c-span2. >>, minnesota and in china is communist in name only. -- communism in china is, less -- communism in china only. it is about preserving the powers party as it continues to grow. in north korea, it is about
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preserving the power of the military and the kim dynasty as you have there. it has nothing to do with what karl marx envisioned. they get you a book on how communism when it moved into asia diverged into something different in vietnam and other areas than the communism in europe. >> former washington post correspondent keith richburg on 34 years of reporting and insights from around the world. sunday at 8:00. >> now a conversation with ruth bader ginsburg. this is one hour and 10 minutes.
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>> can we all be seated? can we all be seated? we have an interesting question and answer session with three of our thomas jefferson school of law professors and students and justice ruth bader ginsburg of the united states supreme court. to maximize the question and answer time, i am going to minimize the introductions. if we do not know who ginsburg is now, i think we should not be in law school. ruth and i are very old friends. i have known her for 20 years. we met through a law program which she attended four times. i had the honor of getting to
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know her every time she came. it is not only an honor and privilege but a pleasure to be with such a wonderful, warm, intelligent, caring, and sensitive woman. it is wonderful. i now want to introduce rebecca lee, one of our professors. she is one of the interesting -- one of the interesting things about this panel is we are all connected to harvard. she has a degree in public policy from harvard kennedy school of government and a law degree and is very involved in law and ken vanderbilt -- we do not need any introduction for
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him. he is the reason i am here. he hired me. he was our former dean. he is a brilliant scholar of harvard law school. he now has a phd in history. he is a funny, wonderful, sensitive guy who is also a great teacher. jennifer i was reading her cd. i want to be her. i love this woman. she is a native texan and a graduate of the united states naval academy. she has not stopped helping people all of her life. she is an exceptional cross- country missionary. it goes on and on. this is a person who if you are in trouble, you want her on your team. i want to be her when i grow up.
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but we are going to do for the session is have rebecca lee start with her questions and then ken vanderbilt the second in china for the third. we will proceed in that auto -- order until all 15 questions are answered. ruth bader ginsburg will come to the podium to answer the questions. we will have this dialogue. >> i learned that your dean was the honesty. i would like to begin by quoting a line from a famous translation of the odyssey. this is the story of a man
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never at a loss. when i met 20 years ago a woman who is never at a loss. that is susan. whatever the job is, give it to susan. she will do it. we will begin with the first question. >> it is such an honor and pleasure to be here with justice ginsburg. i think that justice for her service as well as for spending some time with us and for her willingness to answer our questions. justice ginsburg, you are in your 20th year on the supreme court. after having served 13 years on the dc circuit. you had an equally important career as a lawyer before becoming a judge. you wait a cofounder of the woman's right project at the
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aclu where you were general counsel and in that role, you litigated many important sex discrimination cases including six arguments in the supreme court of which you 15. as a law professor at columbia, you were the first tenured woman at the law school. you have been a leader throughout your career. do judges see themselves as leaders in some sense based on your observations? if yes, in what ways? if not, why? >> judges are reactive institutions. we do not have an agenda. we do not create the problems that come to us. there was a great judge that said, judges are like
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firefighters. they do not make the situation but they do their best to put them out. being on a court with a wide array of views -- i cannot project my views. i cannot try to be queen because if i acted that way i would not be affected. you have to be able to work together with the team, have respect for your fellow members, be sensitive to their concerns, so there is a going toward the middle and a way from the extremes. well that is just? -- will that adjust?
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>> we will try to adjust that. >> what we can do is win a case comes to us, one can try to teach the audience. i spoke about the lilly ledbetter case. that was one where i could to create a better understanding of what lily ledbetter's problem was. i hope that answers your question in part. >> thank you. >> at me start off by thanking you for your appearance here today. welcome back to thomas jefferson school of law. it is great to see you.
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we are honored to have you. in keeping with the fame of the conference, i will like to start with a two-part question. the first part is this -- what qualities do you think a president should seek in a supreme court justice, particularly in our history? secondly, what do you think of the practice that has been prevalent in recent years of appointing easily comfortable justices without a track record that may invite controversy? >> someone who thrives in the study of the law, someone who is able to read and inform quickly mass amounts of material.
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someone who likes the life of thinking. speaking, writing. i think those are the qualities the president should seek. it is the best and hardest job i have ever had. the one thing that as i grow old, it is not as easy for me to do. i could extend my hours. they could last until i was finished. now, i have to let loose every now and then and sleep, as i did before. [laughter]i slept through three alarms. someone had to wake me up. the second part of your question --
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[no audio]-- >> about appointing an easley appointed. >> my most recent colleagues or not that easily confirmed. they should have been. i hope for the day when we will get back to where the system was when i was dominated under stephen breyer. i was nominated in 1993, justice breyer in 1994. there was a bipartisan spirit prevailing in our congress. i was confirmed 96-3. i wonder if the president would
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even nominate me because of my long affiliation with the american civil liberties union. in 1993, not one question was asked about my aclu connection and among the people who voted for me was strom thurmond, who had opposed my nomination in 1980 two the d.c. circuit but was in my corner or the supreme court nomination. i hope people will see that the way we are headed now is wrong. we should reverse it and go back to the way it was when it was bipartisan support for the president's nominees. >> thank you for being here.
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someday when i grow up, i would like to be like you. [laughter]when you are a law school sitting in my shoes, did you expect to see a time when women would be appointed to the supreme court? would you think you would be one of them? >> in the ancient days, women were three percent of lawyers in this country. on the bench, they were barely there. the first woman appointed to a federal apple a court -- appellate court was appointed by franklin delano roosevelt. she served on the sixth circuit. when she retired there were none until president johnson appointed shirley hostettler. she became the first secretary of education.
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then there were none again. there was a president who changed the way things were. he deserves credit for that and that is president jimmy carter. he never had a supreme court nomination to make, but he literally changed the complexion of the us judiciary. he looked around at the judges and said they all look like me. [laughter]that is not the great usa. i am going to look for judicial appointees in places where no one looked before. i am going to appoint members of minority groups and women in numbers. president carter did that on the whole. the american bar association ranked his appointees high year ranked his appointees high year than his predecessor

Politics Public Policy Today
CSPAN February 19, 2013 1:00am-6:00am EST


TOPIC FREQUENCY Us 18, United 10, China 9, Washington 7, Michelle Obama 6, Lessig 6, Mrs. Reagan 5, Mrs. Bush 5, Laura Bush 5, Mrs. Obama 4, Ruth Bader Ginsburg 4, United States 4, George W. Bush 3, Barbara Bush 3, Johnson 3, Bush 3, Mrs. Clinton 3, America 3, John 3, North Korea 3
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